THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE! Jazz-influenced drummer Mitch Mitchell passed away late Wednesday at age 61 (or 62, depending where you read). We remember him here with a threefer of "Stone Free," "Purple Haze" and "Hey Joe" live in Offenbach, Germany, as well as "The Wind Cries Mary" in Stockholm, Sweden, both vids circa 1967 (The barely show Mitch in the Swedish clip, but he makes that song). Or if you prefer, the threefer of "Voodoo Chile," "Hey Joe" and Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" from The Lulu Show. Mitch also tears it up on "Fire" at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969. And he kicks off "I Don't Live Today" at the same gig. Mitchell, a former child actor, was the last living member of the Experience. That should be some reunion gig.
THE 100 GREATEST SINGERS OF ALL TIME, according to Rolling Stone, with plenty of streaming audio. Each singer gets a brief essay, some from other notable vocalists, like Elvis Presley by Robert Plant, James Brown by Iggy Pop and George Jones by James Taylor, to name a few.
THE FOO FIGHTERS will guest judge a Thanksgiving episode of Top Chef. Yes, really.
1990s are previewing tracks from their next album.
ELEANOR RIGBY: Was the song's tragic heroine based on a real person? The Independent reveals a new clue to her identity. There's an audio feature at NPR, too.
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA of GREAT BRITAIN, previously featured here on a Friday, returns with the "Theme From Shaft."
ROBERT CHRISTGAU: With the flood of Internet, I can forget that the Dean's monthly Consumer Guide is still there for you at MSN.
THE CURE tribute album -- featuring tracks from Tanya Donelly, Dean & Britta, The Submarines and more -- is streaming in full again, this time via SPIN.
BEST MUSIC OF 2008: Amazon rolls out Editors' and Customers' Picks, with lists by genre also.
CUTOUT BIN: The late Mitch Mitchell let's his freak flag fly, as do the Psychedelic Furs, plus tracks from Marnie Stern to David Ruffin, Led Zeppelin to Toni Basil, The Clash to Wild Cherry, The MC5, the Hold Steady, Cheap Trick and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE, currently scoring 70 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, is this weekend's sole wide release. Picking up mere moments after we left Bond in Casino Royale, this sequel does not quite equal the 2006 reboot -- in part because we no longer have the shock of the new, in part because director Marc Forster does not have the same experience directing action sequences that Martin Campbell did, though this movie is action-packed enough to keep you guessing as to whether Bond will find the title goal. Indeed, the film so rarely slows down for character (or anything else) that Forster becomes an even stranger choice as director. The Bond girls here -- played by Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton -- continue to break the mold (and you may have to check Arterton's screen credit to get a hidden Bondian joke. Ultimately, the movie is a worthy successor, but see Casino Royale before this one.
PAULA ABDUL: The obsessed fan who died of a possible drug overdose/ suicide outside Abdul's home the other night overdosed in the exact same area around one year ago.
JENNIFER ANISTON is yapping again, this time on Oprah. And rumor has it that Brad Pitt called her to complain about her Vogue interview. RELATED: Aniston's on-again, off-again bf John Mayer will host a weekly variety show for CBS.
LINDSAY LOHAN getting formally engaged to Samantha Ronson in France this week?
MADONNA thinks Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez "has the heart of a poet trapped inside an insanely gorgeous body."
JESSICA SIMPSON: Shut out of the Country Music Awards. Shocka.
BEST DVDs OF 2008: Amazon rolls out Editors' and Customers' Picks, with lists by genre also.
KRISTEN BELL talks to The A.V. Club about her many ongoing and upcoming projects. But it's Egotastic that has her bikini pictures from the set of Couple's Retreat. Call it Gratuitous Friday.
ANNE HATHAWAY's ex-bf Raffaello Follieri discovers that prison is not a nice place.
THE 10 MOST FASCINATING PEOPLE OF 2008: Seven names from the Dec. 4 Barbara Walters special leak at the link.
THE STANS: Pres. Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan pressed US Secretary of State Rice, to ease up on airstrikes targeting militants linked to the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani tribal regions. Complaints that the strikes are alienating the local populations would ring truer, but for the Pakistani Army is coercing the tribes in Bajaur to fight the Taliban, and bombing their villages if they won't. Mullah Baradar, the deputy commander of the Taliban in Afghanistan, said the group has not and will not negotiate with NATO or the Afghan government.
IRAQ: In battle-scarred Mosul, Kurds and Arabs trade accusations rooted in ethnic rivalry and a battle for oil and power that many fear threaten security in Iraq. Meanwhile, security forces killed five al Qaeda operatives and captured 149 suspects during operations in Diyala and Ninewa provinces.
BANANA DERBY: Best Week Ever has the photo gallery of monkey jockeys, but let's go to the video.
TWEETY CATS: Cats are micro-blogging on Twitter. The most popular appears to be Sockington, a/k/a Sockamillion.
DR. DOLITTLE, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources needs your help with some frogs.
AN ALLIGATOR was refused service at Johnny's Saloon.
SINGAPORE ZOO CLEANER does not choose life.